Christmas is around the corner. Cue dry turkey, soggy sprouts and a new Michael Bublé album (in that order of preference). For us at Savernake Knives there is another festive certainty, which is answering the age old question: is it bad luck to give a knife as a gift? The short, correct and admittedly biased reply is no. But for those with a more superstitious bent we thought we’d delve a little deeper into whys and wherefores of this ancient myth.
THE SUPERSTITION OF KNIFE GIFTING
Knives have been around a long time; 2.5 million years in fact. So it’s no surprise that a lot of stories and legends have accumulated over the years. The notion that it’s bad luck to give someone a knife as a gift is a bad idea seems to be a particularly prevalent one, from China right through to here in Britain. One doesn’t need a degree in anthropology to understand why. If I give a sharp pointy thing to someone that then uses it to cause harm to others then I will feel bad, so best treat it as a transaction or create some other ceremony around it so that I can wash my hands of any prospective guilt. Below we set out the most popular ones.
THE CHINESE KNIFE SUPERSTITION
A knife is a severing tool and Chinese folklore would have you believe that if a knife is given as a gift it would be showing someone that you are slashing the bond of friendship. The proverb goes, “one slash, two parts”. We presume that this is why people are particularly hesitant to give knives as wedding gifts.
THE PENNY AND THE KNIFE
To get round this gift giving stumbling block, clever ancient knife marketeers decided that attaching a penny to the knife you are giving would avoid the metaphorical friend slashing, as the receiver would then immediately hand back the penny thus turning the act of gift giving into a transaction and removing any bad cosmic karma.
If you’d still rather not risk ruining a friendship or marriage and can’t find a penny anywhere in our increasingly cash free world we have the perfect antidote: simply buy a Savernake gift card for your loved one! This really is the belts and braces approach to superstitious knife giving since not only is it not a knife but it’s not even a representation of a knife in existence since you all well know we only make knives to order. So really a gift card is an invitation to create a beautiful custom knife.
CLOSING A POCKET KNIFE
Pocket knife marketeers removed the need of pesky pennies by claiming that as long as a gifted pocket knife remained closed no harm would arise. This feels a slightly moot point for us at Savernake Knives since we don’t make pocket knives but if you have an adventurous outdoorsy type you are getting a present for we think keeping one of our outdoor knives in their sheaths will perform the same sorcery.
A STEEL KNIFE
Another get out of jail free card we discovered is that if your knife is made of steel, you are protected from curses and fairies. Admittedly this is not as well known and feels a bit too convenient since it absolves pretty much all knife makers so we suspect clever modern knife marketeers may have shoehorned this one into knife legend postscript.
A KNIFE IN A JAR OF WATER
Finally a positive myth surrounding knives. Nothing to do with gift giving but perhaps one could gift a knife in a jar of water (if you can avoid the inevitable double jeopardy) since it is meant to ward off evil spirits. Apparently it’s the reflection in the water and upon the knife scares them off. Just for god’s sake don’t use one of our knives!
OUR GIFT RECOMMENDATIONS
If you think all of the above is bunkum or you’re happy with any of the legalistic workarounds, here are a few suggestions for you from our online shop.
The Country Gentleman -A perfect sheathed pocket knife for gutting or skinning
The Chefs Carver – Any chef, professional or amateur needs a good carver, look no further.
The Big Boy Cleaver – Where bigger means better.